Homemade Chedda Chz Sauce


I like to call this Chedda Chz – funny, huh? After a few years of tinkering, this is the version I have come to love the most. I started with a much more complicated version for my nachos recipe but this is simpler. And better too. Keep it thick for nachos or tacos or thin it out for mac ‘n chz.

1/2 cup cashews *
1 roasted red pepper
1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and mustard powder, or more to taste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup filtered water + more for thinning
Salt, a few pinches
White pepper, a pinch **

*Soak if you don’t have a Vitamix. (But get one!)
**I like using white pepper because it is stronger and the peppercorns won’t impact the color of the chz. This is good for picky kids.

Place everything into the Vitamix and let it rip until everything is combined. Add 1/4 cup water to get it going and then a bit at a time to get the consistency you want. If it gets to thin, add more cashews! Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

Pour over nachos, tacos, pasta or whenever you feel like eating cheddary goodness. Enjoy!


Ice Cream Shmice Cream #27: Chocolate Chip Cookies ‘n Cream AKA Ice Cream Sandwich Ice Cream


It’s officially summer and so more ice cream concoctions are happening in my kitchen. Today, I bring you what I am calling Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cream AKA ice cream sandwich ice cream. I love making ice cream sandwiches – they are fun and cute. But even though they are easy to make, why make them when you can just crush up some Chocolate Chip Cookies and mix them into the ice cream base? Same flavors, less work.

2 cans organic coconut milk
1/2 cup vegan sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
4 to 6 chocolate chip cookies

Whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla extract and powder. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Pour the coconut milk mixture into the ice cream maker and churn for 10 minutes. Break up the cookies into big and small chunks. When the ice cream is almost done, add the cookies and let it go for another minute just to incorporate them.

Turn out into a Tovolo ice cream tub or a freezer safe container with a piece of wax paper on top. Freeze, and enjoy!

Massaged Kale Salad with Carrots, Raisins, Scallions & Toasted Cashews


I know, I know, another kale salad. But I just love this combo. Sweet and earthy. Crunchy too. The best part is that I use both lemon and lime juice to massage the kale. Perfection.

Serves 1 to 2

1 bunch lacinato kale
1/2 avocado
The juice of 1/2 lemon
The juice of 1/2 lime
1 carrot
1 scallion
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup raisins
Salt, a pinch

Preheat the oven to 300. Toast the cashews until fragrant and browned, about 10 minutes. But keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

Tear the kale off the stems and clean well. Cut or tear into small pieces.

In a big bowl, add the kale, avocado, lemon and lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Get in there with your hands and massage the whole thing together until the kale feels softer.

Grate the carrot. Slice the scallions and toss them into the kale along with the cashews and raisins. Mix well and Enjoy!

Deliciously Decadent Black Cocoa Cookies

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Black. Cocoa. Powder. Say it with me! Black. Cocoa. Powder! There it is on the left side compared to Dutch process cocoa powder on the right. It is by far my new favorite culinary discovery. This is the cocoa powder that gives Oreos their color and richness – not that I have eaten an Oreo lately, even though they are vegan.

I looked up black cocoa powder on The Kitchn website:

“Black cocoa powder is an ultra-Dutch processed cocoa powder. All the acidity has been neutralized, rendering the cocoa powder completely mellow, non-bitter, and very black. Think of black cocoa powder almost as more of a coloring ingredient than a flavoring one—it will turn your baked goods as deeply black as you could ever hope for.

Because it’s been so heavily Dutch processed, this cocoa powder presents some challenges when baking. It contains almost no fat, which can make baked goods dry and crumbly. You can either use half black cocoa and half regular Dutch-processed cocoa in your recipe, or you can up the fat a little bit.

Black cocoa also contains no acid, it won’t react with baking soda. Be sure to use baking powder instead, substituting one teaspoon of powder for every 1/4 teaspoon of soda called for in the recipe.”

A friend passed along a little jar of black cocoa and I decided my first baking project would be to make chocolate chip walnut cookies. I started with my recipe for my Even More Fabulous Aquafaba Chocolate Chip Cookies and tweaked it to incorporate the cocoa powders. It was just a matter of adding cocoa powder in the right proportion – adjusting the flour and splitting the cocoa powders 50/50 – and adjusting the baking powder measurement.

These little beauties are delicious, crispy, chewy, nutty and chocolatey. I’m in love!


Makes a baker’s dozen (13) using a 6cm diameter ice cream scooper or 34 using a 4cm diameter scooper.

Dry Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup Black cocoa powder
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup walnuts
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients
1 cup vegan cane or beet sugar
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup sunflower oil
6 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea bean water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line a big baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a big bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the aquafaba until it is foamy. Add the sugar, oil and vanilla and whisk to combine.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon into a dough.


Using the ice cream scooper, scoop out the dough, pressing it onto the side of the bowl to pack it well, and then drop onto the sheet with a bit of space in between the cookies.

Bake for 20 minutes. When the cookies are cool to the touch, gently move them onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!


Meatless “Meat” Sauce: Tempeh Bolognese v2


This is my updated tempeh bolognese. It is the same basic recipe as my cauliflower red lentil bolognese but with tempeh. As I said in my cauliflower post, I know it’s not technically bolognese but I used the basic template for the traditional recipe – a mirepoix of onions, carrots and celery – and came up with a fantastic sauce. The tempeh is infused with white wine (my original was infused with red) and the lovely flavors of the vegetables. It is great on top of pasta and even better in the middle of a big lasagna!

Note: cooking is an art not a science. So, the size of vegetables varies. For the mirepoix, it should be 50% onions, 25% carrots and 25% celery.

This recipe makes a little more than 3 cups of sauce.

8oz. soy tempeh
1/2 cup water
1/2 tablespoon tamari

1/2 medium onion
2 stalks celery
2 carrots
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup white wine *
1 tube of tomato paste (4.5 oz.)
1 jar of crushed tomatoes (18.3 oz.)
1/2 cup cashew milk **
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt, 1 teaspoon, divided

*For wine, use what you like meaning what you would drink. I love my Vegan Vine Chardonnay.

**To make homemade cashew milk, add 1 cup of cashews to 3 cups of filtered water into the Vitamix and let it rip until it is smooth. If you don’t have a Vitamix, it is time to get one or soak the cashews for a few hours.

Break up the tempeh in crumbles. They don’t have to be too fine, just so that the block is broken up. Add to a pot along with the water and tamari. Mix it all together to try to coat the tempeh with the tamari. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Every few minutes go in with a wooden spoon and break the tempeh up even more.

Make the mirepoix. Evenly dice the onion, celery and carrots and add to the pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. If you are oil free, water sauté the vegetables.

Season with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook on low heat until the vegetables have softened. This should take somewhere between 8 and 10 minutes. Press the garlic over the mirepoix and let it cook in for 2 more minutes.

Add the tempeh to the mirepoix, along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and mix together and cook for a few minutes.

Add the wine and cook it down for 2 minutes so that the alcohol cooks off. Add the tomato paste and mix it in well. Cook for a minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and season with the rest of the salt. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes.

Add the cashew milk and cook for another 15 minutes.

Store the sauce in glass containers in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use and reheat.

Boil up some pasta – I love these spaghetti sized macaronis – and toss with sauce. Add a little more sauce on top and enjoy!